is with great pleasure we announce that Rational Client Support's
Sampson and Jasper
been accepted into the IBM Corporate Service Corps program.
Corporate Service Corps is
a leadership development program and focuses on economic, social and
environmental challenges in emerging countries. It is often referred
to as IBM's version of the Peace Corps.
Corporate Service Corps (CSC) exposes high performance IBM employees
to the 21st century context for doing business --- emerging markets,
global teaming, diverse cultures, working outside the traditional
office, and increased societal expectations for more responsible and
sustainable business practices. CSC participants perform
community-driven economic development projects in Africa, Asia,
Eastern Europe and Latin America, working at the intersection of
business, technology and society.
application process is highly competitive and it is an honor to be
to David and Jasper on their selection for this program, and we look
forward to hearing about their adventures!
This week we shine the spotlight on Bill Penny. As a Knowledge Manager for Rational Client Support, Bill wears many hats and is able to put the skills he has acquired over the years to very good use. With the large scopes of Bill's projects (as he explains below) you'll see how broad his skill set has to be! And don't forget to check out our past interviews as well!
Tell us a little about yourself: who are you, what is your role in Rational Client Support? I go by many different handles depending on the venue of the conversation, but in the realm of IBM Support I am known simply as Bill (but as you come to know me, you realize that I pretty much respond to anything.) My current role in RCS is a Knowledge Manager, and the primary focus of my role is to develop/deploy/evangelize KCS (Knowledge Centered Support) programs in RCS. My mission is simply to make the world a smarter place to live in.
How long have you been working for IBM and Rational? As Rational was acquired by IBM in 2003, I have been working at IBM for 7 years (as of March). I have been working at Rational since 1999 (11 years total).
Have you had any other roles in Rational? I began my career as a ClearCase Technical Support Engineer. Over the 3+ years in this role, I held such titles as: Escalation lead, Team lead, and "overall great guy". I then moved on to the Premium Support /Advanced Services team (now known as AVP - Accelerated Value Program). For the next few years I serviced such accounts as: Wells Fargo, Siemens Medical and Eastman Kodak. I then moved on to become one of the founding members of the new Knowledge Management team formed in Rational.
What are you currently working on? One of the larger efforts I am leading entail the KCS program in Rational. I am in the process of deploying Coaching component of the program. I am also leading an effort to improve the operational efficiencies around the creation and maintenance of Detailed System Requirements content for the Rational portfolio. The mission is to provide our clients with an accurate and consistent experience around the knowledge.
Describe a normal day for you. As my team and stakeholders are around the world, I do not have a typical 9-5 job. Most days start early morning to work with my team in Europe, continue throughout the day to work with North America and finish late when working with Australia. What do I do? Plan > Meet > Execute > Deploy. Rinse and Repeat. What project are you the most proud of? The KCS program is my crowning achievement. I built this program from the ground up collaborating with different teams, creating the infrastructure, documenting the program and all its moving components. The program is in the process of being deployed and will continue to mature and evolve over time. It's like watching one of my children grow.
What gadget, which you currently own, can you not live without? The remote for my entertainment center (Logitec Harmony One). I have many different components hooked up to my system and this remote allows me to power, control and configure all the different components from one source.
What's the coolest piece of tech news you've heard lately? Although not that recent, the coolest tech news to date was the preview release of Google Wave. For those not familiar, this is how e-mail would work if it were invented TODAY. The features are extremely useful as it has practical business (and personal) application built in. Take a look: http://wave.google.com/about.html
What is your favorite part of working for Rational Client Support? Simple - the people.
What inspires you in your work? Fixing problems. Creating solutions. Removing obstacles.
What are you passionate about? At work, making change that matters. At home, watching my children grow.
What tip or trick would you like to share with the class? Always strive for WIN WIN. It is there if you look for it.
How do you define success? Happy and Healthy.
In your spare time, if you have any, what hobbies or activities interest you? My hobby is to play the great sport of racquetball. I have been playing for over 15 years. I started playing racquetball in my teens (which is late in life for the sport) during the mid 80s. A racquetball club opened in our town, I joined with a friend and have been hooked ever since. I have played in many tournaments all across the US. I am the MA state and New England regional champion in my age division.
Do you have any big plans for the future? This November I am taking my daughters (ages 6 & 7) to Disney World for vacation. I am so excited for them to see this great big magical kingdom.
If you were stuck on a technology deprived island, what single technology could you not live without? My Tivo (DVR).
What are you doing to make the planet smarter? I am working with teams to first transform Data into Information, and then Information into consumable Knowledge. The key to a smarter planet is having the right knowledge at your disposal to make informed and intelligent decisions.
How do you prefer to find answers to your questions? I GOOGLE it.
How are you using social networking today? I use Facebook primarily to keep in touch with friends and family. At work I use wikis, blogs and twitter to stay informed and collaborate with teams.
Today we have the pleasure of highlighting Brianna Smith. As one of the presenters for next week's IBM Innovate2010 conference, Brianna will be speaking on "Using Requirements Composer to improve the requirements review process with IBM CIO projects"as well as "A survey of IBM Rationals Requirements Management Tools". Plus, meet Brianna at the Support Cafe' (agenda here) where she'll be talking on "Fifteen Things New Users of Requirements Composer Need to Know". You will not want to miss these sessions! In the meantime, read on and get to know her here before you meet her at Innovate!
Tell us a little about yourself: who are you, what is your role in Rational Client Support? I am a Delivery Engagement Manager in the Requirements Definition & Management Customer Advocacy Group. Focus areas include CAG activities where deep product and RDM process knowledge are required and special projects in the RDM space to aid in the advancement of sales for RM tools including: Requirements Composer, RequisitePro and DOORS.
How long have you been working for IBM and Rational? Total time, roughly 11 years. Four years with Rational, and 7 with IBM.
Have you had any other roles in Rational? Yes, TSE 2, World Wide Escalation Contact, Team Lead for RequisitePro, Delivery Engagement Manager for Internal Deployment of Rational tools within IBM
What are you currently working on? Building assets to support the sales and field enablement for RDM including Proof of Technologies, Deployment Assets, and consulting projects for various customers, as well as my CAG duties.
Describe a normal day for you. I am a bit of jack of all trades with various meeting for anything from performing pre-sales demonstrations, consulting sessions with the field and customers, CAG troubleshooting sessions, and building assets.
What project are you the most proud of? An internal grass roots IBM project with CIO's office, GBS and Sales Transformation. The project started small with about 200 persons and has steadily grown to support 7,000 plus persons WW. We build a custom ClearQuest schema to drive their requirements process across organizations and integrate with RequisitePro. Additionally we build on demand training assets.
Do you have an "on the job" hero? If you could "follow" anyone for 24 hours, who would it be? Yes, Robin Bater the RDM Coop Architect. I appreciate how he works with customers, the field and development and drive success with our customers and new functions into the tools.
Are you a gadget person? What type of gadgets do you use? Somewhat, but prefer to spend my freetime playing sports, outdoors, and cooking but as far as gadgets I love my iTouch. What gadget, which you currently own, can you not live without? My iTouch. What is your favorite part of working for Rational Client Support? I love helping our customers successfully tie process and tools together.
What inspires you in your work? New challenges everyday and solving problems.
What are you passionate about? In work learning new things and taking that knowledge and helping others.
What tip or trick would you like to share with the class? Tags are critical in the use of Requirements Composer and help teams organize assets for basic organization and aid in filtering, reviews, project baselines and help organize assets for inputs to other parts of the development lifecycle including Test and Development.
Tell me about the biggest problem you've solved? Helping drive closure to a year long crit-sit with a customer and help them solve critical tool issues.
Tell me about the biggest problem ahead for you? Helping find efficient ways for customers to move from legacy tools to our new Jazz platform. The Jazz platform will help teams more effectively to view data across the software development lifecycle, however in some cases the way tools are used require customers to potentially re-think how they have organized their projects in the past.
How do you define success? Providing thought leadership in your space and continuing to evolve and impart that knowledge upon others. In your spare time, if you have any, what hobbies or activities interest you? Anything active. I love the outdoors and hiking in the summer, skiing in the winter. I also love volleyball (both indoors and doubles). I love to try to express my creative side outside of work in crafts and cooking. I also love to lose myself in a book and get away from the stresses of work.
When did you first become interested in outdoor activities? I have been skiing since I was 5 - 34 years and have played volleyball since junior high through college and still today.
What tools / skills have you acquired that you feel are vital to your success in this field? Listening is critical in customer support and consulting and driving to understand a problem and attempt to think outside of the box to address the issue. Additionally empathy is very critical as well.
What message would you give to someone just starting out in the support industry? Be a sponge and try to learn as much as possible and grow.
What specifically drew your interest to become involved in the support field? Helping others
Have you worked on any projects that you feel were exceptionally exciting for you? Driving the architecture, process refinement and training for the URMS internal IBM project.
Do you have any big plans for the future? I hope to continue to travel the world in my free time. If you were stuck on a technology deprived island, what single technology could you not live without? My iPod
What is on your nightstand with regard to reading? Generally fictional books
What has been your biggest surprise you have witnessed in the technology industry? Cloud computing
What future technology would make your life easier? Cloud computing to host solutions.
What are you doing to make the planet smarter? Trying to provide assets for on demand use in my field of expertise.
How do you grow your technical skills? Play with new versions of tools as they are to become available.
How do you prefer to find answers to your questions? Search online resources.
How are you using social networking today? Face book, linked in etc... for staying connected with friends and colleagues.
Are you an Author? ...Are you a blogger in the blogosphere? ... Are you a YouTuber? .... Do you Tweet? ... I am an author and helped write a RedBook. I also have some patents and whitepaper publications.
We'd love your feedback via our survey found here. Read on for a bit of background and explanation.
We launched our Twitter presence in April of last year, Facebook in November, and YouTube in December, with no other agenda than to share knowledge with you; to help you be successful with IBM Rational products.
We're sharing new and popular technotes, IBM Education Assistant modules, information regarding our electronic support tools and programs, pertinent developerWorks and jazz.net articles, how-to videos, webcast/open-mic schedules, and interviews with some of the many interesting people that make up our Rational Client Support teams.
We've been doing this all for a bit now, and would love to hear your feedback about how we're doing, as well as what improvements you may like! To that end, we have built out a short nine question survey to help you provide some quick, anonymous feedback. This survey shouldn't take you any more than 5-10 minutes of time, depending on how thorough you wish to be if you answer the two open text questions. Of course, you can always leave comments in our blog posts here as well!
This is a chance for you to help drive the future of Rational Support's social media initiatives; to have a voice about what changes we could make to help YOU see even more benefit from our social media channels!